Most of us remember the old saying, “The straw that broke the camel’s back.” A graphic description of that moment where no more weight can be heaped on without destroying the ride itself..
“Political Correctness” has been having a pretty painless ride in recent years and the riders have been cracking the whip not only on the camels but on the passers by as well.
But,…that storied moment may finally have come…
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s fame in the annals of children’s historical fiction is second to none. Her “Little House on the Prairie” stories have been read by generations of Americans. The television series based on the books was a success for years. None of that fazed the correctness hucksters though.
Through no less than the American Library Association they moved last month to remove her name from the children’s literature award first received by her in the 1950s. The reasons given for denigrating “Little House on The Prairie“ titles was that they “reflect dated cultural attitudes out of keeping with the organizations new standards of “Inclusiveness, integrity and respect..”
Her works contradict modern “acceptance, celebration and understanding of diverse communities.” Well let’s look realistically at what we do actually experience in this new “inclusive” culture in which we now live.
All of us, politically correct or not, shop at stores that take advantage of “global commerce…” that is, stores that sell merchandise supplied by workers from other countries. News stories have abounded and then been down played with descriptions of the poverty and poor living conditions of those workers.
Articles have even featured accounts of the prevalence of suicide among these groups. Of slimsy factories collapsing killing hundreds. These slave like workers work so cheaply that it has actually been considered as a profitable concept for the companies to send meat products abroad and back again, for processing rather than employ Americans to do the cleaning and packaging. The USDA has even approved this plan.
Female workers have, when they dared, complained of multiple examples of unfair pay schedules and ongoing sexual harassment. And all this doesn’t even touch on the tortured existence of many of the animals that supply our meat and poultry through these stores.
While digging through news coverage of the possible mistresses Thomas Jefferson may have had, or too realistic descriptions of friction with Native American’s on the frontier. As in some of the Wilder books, Little or nothing is said about these racist, sexist examples of modern slavery that exist right now that virtually all of us, by supporting these businesses, take advantage of and encourage.
Apparently it is considered more to the point to look away from what we’re all a party to now and focus on whatever we can paint in dark colors from the past. Then we can sit back, smugly, and focus on all the good we’re doing by snipping out of the history books the lessons that might have made it easier to process the evils we engage in the present.
Santayana said “those who cannot remember the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it.” The new library and educational models are actively promoting the forgetting of that history by encouraging us to avoid reading it.
I would call this an all lose situation.
Well, this time Americans are fighting back. Americans are realizing that attempts to alter the depiction of good and bad in history are foolish and infantile. As well as being blind to modern psychology which teaches us that we all are capable of evil actions, now and always when given permission by authority figures.
This was so well illustrated by Dr. Milgram’s experiments in the delivering of electric shocks to mock victims. (As well as Dr Zimbardo and his prison experiment at Stanford.)
Dr Milgram discovered that given permission, men and women alike would give stronger and stronger electric shocks to persons they believed were in the next room, until the death of the subjects would have occurred. The people administering the shocks were simply told it was “necessary for the experiment.”
Personally, now that we’re awake, we need to see these trends for what they really are, which is largely a gross pandering for political and business reasons. People set at odds are easier to control as in “divide and conquer.” “Global business” seeks to divert attention from modern wrongs to historical examples. By coincidence most of the scapegoats like Thomas Jefferson who wrote most of our “Declaration of Independence” and Laura Wilder who wrote of old time frontier life, are in most respects, examples of what was good in the American fabric. By digging for peccadilloes in such lives and ignoring the positive donations they made to our history, these correct folks allow us to glean something of their own agenda. A strong and proud America is definitely not a priority for them.
To bring it all up to date instead of having to look into the distant past for evidence of racial slurs, sexism and enslaved victims, let’s look at now. We are all guilty of supporting these places, sometimes on a daily basis. I know I have to think twice before I go looking for a bargain when I think of the real cost of that bargain. Time for us all to do a lot more thinking. and when we are looking for fault to shine up our mirrors a bit and look at ourselves and at life right now. Our “social“ platforms are literal training grounds for hatred and bigotry. We are given ready made placards depicting “the enemy” (another political party or point of view) as silly and foolish. We argue and fight and call our friends names. Everyday. We should look back at history for the lessons it teaches about our journey. The changes we make in things need to be now, not then.
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